The Hornets’ players and supporters had waited 98 days for the Golden Boys to resume their Premier League season with this home fixture against the Foxes, but there were two seminal moments before a ball was even kicked this afternoon. After walking out to an eerily quiet Vicarage Road, the players held a moment’s silence for all those affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, before taking a knee on the referee’s whistle for Black Lives Matter. Both moments demonstrated unity between the teams and an understanding that some things, sometimes, must come before football.
If the way Watford clambered back to their feet after Ben Chilwell’s heavyweight blow is how they mean to go on, Nigel Pearson can be confident his team will fight until the end. They refused to give in after falling behind to a cracking goal from Chilwell in the 90th minute and rescued a point just when all looked lost, Craig Dawson summing up their defiance when he fastened on to a flick from Christian Kabasele and volleyed past Kasper Schmeichel in the Leicester goal.
During comms, Steve McManaman compliments the club on the colour in the stadium and the organisation of the day. He also mentions the work done in supporting the hospital over the last few months. We’re all aware of all of this of course, but it shouldn’t be taken for granted. We talk about Watford being a community club… well here’s the evidence, if any were needed. A sanctuary for hospital staff. Washing the scrubs. Free meals. Meeting room space. The sensory room adopted by the maternity unit for pre-natal checks. Players and ex-players ringing older and vulnerable supporters, accessing further support where needed. Matchday BT sport passes for season ticket holders. Even sorting out season ticket refunds was done considerately, professionally. Plenty of clubs haven’t managed that, or anything near it. Speaks volumes that where everything’s up in the air and the club (like so many other institutions) are suddenly deprived of cashflow, they’re prioritising this stuff. A club to be proud of. Let’s try to remember this next time we lose to someone shit.
It’s back! And so of course is From the Rookery End. Jon and Jason are joined by Mike, one of the lucky few to be inside Vicarage Road, to discuss Watford’s hard earned, dramatic point against Leicester as project restart, starts. The game is the focal point of the show, with the boys covering all the main talking points from a fascinating encounter, including praise for Watford’s late saviour Craig Dawson.